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Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Is this game more a race than Multiple Paths to Victory? rss

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Madhujith Venkatakrishna
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Hi All,

Just played my 2nd game and still trying to figure out different strategies, interconnections etc. Just got this feeling that there are 2 main ways to score points in the game...using the skulls and then the temple track....almost felt that it was more a race of getting there 1st rather than feeling that there were multiple paths to victory...like say taking on a Building/ Monument route or just a resource abundant route etc.

I know there is still a lot of game plays that might be required to appreciate the intricacies of this game, but what do experienced feel about this game....do you also feel that it is a race against these 2 paths and who ever does this efficiently without making a mistake will win?

This leads me to ponder if adding in the expansion will make this game really multiple paths to victory or what will it do to this game.

As I mentioned before...just played it twice, so I'm not judging this, but want to get more understanding from experienced players.

Best Regards,
Madhu
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Neil Christiansen
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The temple track is a race, and a hard one to ignore. At least two players need to compete there as if only one does they will run away.

Skulls are fine, but there are many other resource collection and building strategies as well.
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Lawrence
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This is definitely a game that takes multiple plays to really get a hang of. Monuments really play a big part in scoring, but you are right that skulls and temple are two big point generators. However, it's how you setup your resource engine that's going to differ.

BGG user qqzm did a great strategy primer that should help. Big resources is especially good when done right (I've converted over 50 food in 1 turn), but it's also especially difficult to set up.
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Jay Ackerman
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No. There are strategies that basically ignore the temples. Until you are playing at the highest levels there are multiple paths to victory.
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Morten K
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But yes adding the expansion does give you more paths to victory - depending of course on which modules you decide to include.
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Lawrence
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Tigrillo wrote:
But yes adding the expansion does give you more paths to victory - depending of course on which modules you decide to include.


I've won a game where I didn't place a single skull or go up past the 2nd step on any temple by using the prophecies in the expansion. Every game really feels different with that module. It's a must-have in my book.
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Phil Triest
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It is a game about timing not a race per se.
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Matt Smith
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I've only played about four times, but in my last game I won with only one skull and I was the highest on only one temple. I got 28 points from two monuments (both were built on my final turn), and had a final score of 60. So 46% of my points came from the two monuments. I went with a combination of big corn and big resources, getting to level 3 on both of those development tracks.

I know 60 isn't a great score for those who have played the game a lot, but for me it was really good.
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Adam Thrasher
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I was initially really fascinated with this game. I love the setting and the novel worker placement elements. I've tried it a few times on Board Game Arena, and I really think the game might be broken.

I've seen several players execute the "One True Strategy," which involves loading up the yellow wheel early and often. They add workers until they have 7 or 8, they use the final yellow action to pound big actions on the other city wheels, and they repeatedly convert all their resources to corn. They push their resource technology to the limit (and beyond several times). It's common for them to possess more than 60 corn, which they convert into all the resources they need and buy up buildings 4 at a time.

I feel like I am playing in slow motion against these players. I place or remove a worker or two each turn. These guys place or remove ALL their workers every turn, and all I can do is sit there and watch the components fly off the board. There's a ton of downtime for me. Their final scores are like 120+. I've seen as high as 155. I don't think you can get those kinds of scores any other way.

So, I've kind of lost the desire to play this game, especially with experts. It's just not fun. Has anyone else seen this strategy in play, and if so, is there any way to beat it?
 
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Lawrence
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crapstorm wrote:
So, I've kind of lost the desire to play this game, especially with experts. It's just not fun. Has anyone else seen this strategy in play, and if so, is there any way to beat it?


Two things:

1) The game really has no luck elements to it. It's all skill, so "experts" will usually win.

2) The expansion (not on BGA that I know of) introduces Prophecies, which really change scoring up. The BIG Resource strategy takes a long time to setup. The prophecies punish you (often times severely) for not acquiring certain resources / track positions, while greatly rewarding players who do. This helps the players who tend to diversify a bit more.
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Grant
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crapstorm wrote:
I was initially really fascinated with this game. I love the setting and the novel worker placement elements. I've tried it a few times on Board Game Arena, and I really think the game might be broken.

I've seen several players execute the "One True Strategy," which involves loading up the yellow wheel early and often. They add workers until they have 7 or 8, they use the final yellow action to pound big actions on the other city wheels, and they repeatedly convert all their resources to corn. They push their resource technology to the limit (and beyond several times). It's common for them to possess more than 60 corn, which they convert into all the resources they need and buy up buildings 4 at a time.

I feel like I am playing in slow motion against these players. I place or remove a worker or two each turn. These guys place or remove ALL their workers every turn, and all I can do is sit there and watch the components fly off the board. There's a ton of downtime for me. Their final scores are like 120+. I've seen as high as 155. I don't think you can get those kinds of scores any other way.

So, I've kind of lost the desire to play this game, especially with experts. It's just not fun. Has anyone else seen this strategy in play, and if so, is there any way to beat it?

Does it surprise you so much that in a deep strategy game expert players tend to soundly beat non-expert players?

Also, having a dominant strategy doesn't make a game broken. It means you need to learn how to execute that strategy better than the other players.

And, as Lawrence just mentioned, the expansion really diversifies the dominant strategies.
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Adam Thrasher
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grant5 wrote:

Does it surprise you so much that in a deep strategy game expert players tend to soundly beat non-expert players?


Not at all. I suppose my question is, how difficult is it to become an expert at this game? Does it take years of study and practice, like Go or Chess? Or just a few minutes of reading, like Nim? Where do you think it lies on the Nim-Go spectrum?
 
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Lawrence
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crapstorm wrote:
grant5 wrote:

Does it surprise you so much that in a deep strategy game expert players tend to soundly beat non-expert players?


Not at all. I suppose my question is, how difficult is it to become an expert at this game? Does it take years of study and practice, like Go or Chess? Or just a few minutes of reading, like Nim? Where do you think it lies on the Nim-Go spectrum?


Close to Go than Nim. Check out the strategy primer I linked in the 2nd post of this thread for an idea of the depth of strategies in the game. There are a few others on BGG that are also well worth reading. I've won with pretty much all of those strategies. Note that those only cover BASE game strategies - the expansion, again, changes things up a bit.
 
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Phil Triest
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crapstorm wrote:
I was initially really fascinated with this game. I love the setting and the novel worker placement elements. I've tried it a few times on Board Game Arena, and I really think the game might be broken.

I've seen several players execute the "One True Strategy," which involves loading up the yellow wheel early and often. They add workers until they have 7 or 8, they use the final yellow action to pound big actions on the other city wheels, and they repeatedly convert all their resources to corn. They push their resource technology to the limit (and beyond several times). It's common for them to possess more than 60 corn, which they convert into all the resources they need and buy up buildings 4 at a time.

I feel like I am playing in slow motion against these players. I place or remove a worker or two each turn. These guys place or remove ALL their workers every turn, and all I can do is sit there and watch the components fly off the board. There's a ton of downtime for me. Their final scores are like 120+. I've seen as high as 155. I don't think you can get those kinds of scores any other way.

So, I've kind of lost the desire to play this game, especially with experts. It's just not fun. Has anyone else seen this strategy in play, and if so, is there any way to beat it?


Start blocking them then...
 
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Jay Ackerman
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7 or 8 workers? After 400+ games now finally know the secret!
 
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Morten K
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SliceOfBread wrote:
7 or 8 workers? After 400+ games now finally know the secret!


Good to know! I thought you could also only build 2 buildings or 1 monument at a time.
 
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Andy Holt
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Tigrillo wrote:
SliceOfBread wrote:
7 or 8 workers? After 400+ games now finally know the secret!


Good to know! I thought you could also only build 2 buildings or 1 monument at a time.


With a bit of luck and a lot of planning you could build anything up to six buildings in a turn.
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Adam Thrasher
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SliceOfBread wrote:
7 or 8 workers? After 400+ games now finally know the secret!

Forgive my newbie mistake with the worker numbers.

After reading the strategy guide, my faith in this game is restored. I'm eager to play a few games this weekend. I will definitely "start blocking them," as advised.
 
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Jay Ackerman
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crapstorm wrote:
SliceOfBread wrote:
7 or 8 workers? After 400+ games now finally know the secret!

Forgive my newbie mistake with the worker numbers.

After reading the strategy guide, my faith in this game is restored. I'm eager to play a few games this weekend. I will definitely "start blocking them," as advised.


Sorry if that was a bit snarky but I was trying to point out that you didn't know the game very well yet. There is a lot to learn but it can be tough to find other players that won't just pants you. You might want to go back and watch a replay of one of your games from the winner's point of view. Before their move think, "What would I do here?" and compare that to what they do and figure out why. Good luck!
 
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Henry Dove
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Blocking does little good unless you block the whole wheel. If they have enough corn they will happily go further up the track and ignore your block. In fact, a key to the game(other than getting a lot of corn) is to start as high on the tracks as you can so they can go on and off sooner.
 
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